Monday, July 04, 2005

Latest on Rove

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George Bush, 2003 State of the Union: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. ... Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide."

In amongst all of the conspiratorial speculation that is contextualising the discussions about Rove... it's important that people don't lose sight of why this story matters so much. It isn't simply that Valerie Plame's life was endangered while she was in service of her country... nor that these events potentially expose a sleazy, co-ordinated smeer campaign to undermine Joseph Wilson's credibility...

...The primary issue at stake is that the crucial piece of disputed evidence which is responsible for this furore, that Iraq attempted to purchase enriched uranium from Niger, was presented by the Bush Administraion as part of their justifcation for going war.

As of right now, the story hasn't really progressed in the last few days. Discussion is exponentially growing online, and it's quite amazing to watch. I'm not too familiar blogging and I'm finding it awe inspiring witnessing the power of the medium at work. In so many ways people feel disenfranchised by the current political climate, and yet, online, they are making their voices heard loud and clear.

Karl Rove is refusing to answer any questions on the case. Democratic Senator Chuck Shumer cleverly capitalized, ""We've heard it from his lawyer, but it would be nice to hear it directly from Mr. Rove that he didn't leak the identity of Valerie Plame, and that he didn't direct anyone else to do such a dastardly thing..."

Lawrence O'Donnell insightfully notes Robert Luskin's use of the word "knowingly" in Luskin's description of what Rove didn't do in his conversations with Mathew Cooper: "Not coincidentally, the word 'knowing' is the most important word in the controlling statute ( U.S. Code: Title 50: Section 421). To violate the law, Rove had to tell Cooper about a covert agent 'knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States.'"

From a great editorial in 2003 on www.truthout.org I discovered some great great snippets of relevant info:

- In the 1992 campaign Karl Rove worked for Bush Sr. and was was fired for smeering chief campaign fundraiser Robert Mosbacher, Jr. Rove partly employed these smeer tactics by planting a negative story with, none other than, Bob Novak. Once this was discovered he departed the campaign.

-Joseph Wilson was dispatched to Niger by the CIA, after Dick Cheney requested that the CIA verify the British Intelligence about Iraq's activities in Niger. On his return, Wilson debunked the evidence, and he has since claimed that his analysis was one of three intelligence reports that reached the same conclusion. Wilson told Cheney's office, the CIA, the State Department, and the National Security Council. Inspite of this George Bush made the above statement at the 2003 state of the Union address. George Tenet approved that speech, which for the first time makes me think he had no other choice but to resign.

-Allegedly, an anonymous administration official quoted by the Washington Post claimed that two White House officials cold-called six different journalists and informed them of Valerie Plame's status as a CIA agent, the anonymous source stating, "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge."

- And finally, John DiIulio, a domestic policy advisor, who left the White House in 2003, told Esquire magazine the following story about once overhearing an argument that involved Rove: "Inside, Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him. I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging parked cars. 'We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!'"

There is more than enough evidence to suggest that this story has legs. Rove was clearly instrumental in the dissemination of information about Valerie Plame to journalists. But, the problem is that the lengthy investigation process by Special Council Fitzgerald, which, ironically, appears to embody none of the zeal which the Whitewater investigation exhibited... seems likely to drag on for quite sometime. It will be hard over the coming weeks and months for the story to really penetrate the mainstream news media in a fashion that will actually hold this Administration to account, unless a more indisputable piece evidence surfaces. Right now, we are all relying upon whatever it is that Lawrence O'Donnell knows about what exists in Mathew Cooper's email inbox. O'Donnell is waaayyyyyyy too easy to smeer because of his party political affiliations.

Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson:


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